Vardis quickly gained notoriety and a strong, dedicated live following due to their high energy, no holds barred performances, incorporating elements of blues, 70’s Rock and Heavy Metal with Zodiac’s searing, untamed guitar sound. In 1980 they released the entirely live, classic debut album 100 M.P.H. that famously “GUARANTEED NO OVERDUBS”, before hitting the road in a brutal touring schedule, kicking off with the infamous Heavy Metal Barn Dance at Stafford’s Bingley Hall alongside Motörhead, Saxon, Girlschool. Vardis then joined Hawkwind on the 33 date Levitation Tour before embarking on their own 100 M.P.H. Tour.
Flying high through this period the band regularly hit the top of the Heavy Metal Charts, and unusually for the NWoBHM, made inroads into the UK national singles and album charts. BBC Sessions for Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show followed and they opened the legendary Port Vale, Heavy Metal Holocaust in August alongside Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Frank Marino, Triumph and Riot.
After a run of six years, numerous singles, EP’s and 4 albums of work, Steve called it a day in 1986 to develop Sound Engineering courses and qualifications for City & Guilds of London. Thanks to a social media campaign in 2014 Steve agreed to reform Vardis to headlined Brofest II Newcastle UK, going on to perform at festivals in England and Germany.
2015 saw Vardis at the top of their game, they set to work on their first new material in 30 years with the release of the 200 M.P.H. EP in June with a live launch show at London’s Bush Hall. Starting work on a full album in November 2015 Vardis penned a worldwide deal with SPV/Steamhammer, who announced the release of the band’s fifth major album, Red Eye. Recording sessions for Red Eye saw the band hit new heights in chemistry and performance, despite bassman Terry Horbury being in some physical discomfort. In a matter of days after recording wrapped, Terry was admitted to hospital for tests in London and died on December 15th, only two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. After this tragic loss, Zodiac and Clancy focused all energy into completing the production of Red Eye in memory of their friend and bandmate who had expressed his wish for Vardis to continue.
2020 now sees the 40th Anniversary of the legendary “100 MPH” album and Vardis will be playing selected dates to celebrate.